Definition of jimjams
jimjams was our Word of the Day on 03/27/2011. Hear the podcast!
Examples of jimjams in a Sentence
heights don't give me the jimjams, but flying does
Did You Know?
When jimjams entered English in the mid-19th century, it probably referred to a specific kind of jitters - the "delirium tremens," a violent delirium caused by excessive drinking. Jimjams is not particularly common today, but when it is used in current American English it means simply jitters. Etymologists aren't sure about the origin of the term. Some speculate that it came about as an alteration of delirium tremens. Others, though uncertain of the origin of jim and jam, notice that the word follows a pattern of similar words in which one sound is repeated or altered slightly. Interestingly, other words for jitters were formed in the same repetitive way - whim-whams and heebie-jeebies are examples.
Origin and Etymology of jimjams
perhaps alteration of delirium tremens
First Known Use: 1852See Words from the same year
Learn More about jimjams
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jimjams
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up jimjams? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).